Portland Experiencing Exodus

New York, Pennsylvania, and California have faced an exodus. Now, another west coast blue state is joining the list.

Multnomah County, Oregon, which encompasses the city of Portland, has lost 14,257 taxpayers. That loss had resulted in a $1 billion loss in tax payer revenue, according to a report from the city’s paper of record, the Oregonian.

The 14,257 number represents the number of taxpayers who fled and does not include the possible family members who left with them.

What is setting off alarm bells are those who are fleeing.

From the Oregonian:

The average income of Multnomah County residents who moved away in 2020, the most recent figure available, was 14% higher than of those who moved the year prior, according to The Oregonian/OregonLive’s analysis.
Meanwhile, the average incomes of people moving into Multnomah County, and county residents who did not move, declined slightly over the same period.

This is a historic change from previous trends.

In the past most people who moved out of the city were young people looking for a new life and those who remained had more income. Traditionally those people had income, a home and roots and were staying put.

“Clearly we do see a relative shift in incomes among migrants from 2019 to 2020,” Oregon economist Josh Lehner said. “For Multnomah County specifically this pattern is different … the relative patterns of migration shifted noticeably, and skew more toward higher-income out-migration than in 2019.”

That trend has been turned on its head.

The report details that 2020 public health restrictions may have contributed to the exodus; however, it doesn’t mention the weeks of riots the city experienced during the same year.

According to local station KPTV, Portland is “one of the fastest-shrinking U.S. cities.”

“The real question is to what extent the pandemic era changes were temporary, or if they are permanent,” Lehner said. “Unfortunately, that can’t be answered until we get the 2023 and 2024 data.”

“Portland just is not what it used to be now,” a reporter from KPTV said during a segment discussing the exodus.

California is considering an “exit tax” after they experienced an exodus; however, it is expected to fail.


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